Hemmed In

Our family has recently decided to become more cultured, more well-rounded, more creative. This summer, we auditioned as a family for the acclaimed musical presentation, “The Promise”. It was my daughter’s idea, and we decided it would give us something to do on a Saturday. We didn’t actually think we’d all make it.


But lo and behold, each of our names appeared on the 2010 cast list. Every Saturday in August, we made the two hour drive to Glen Rose, Texas for the 8 – 12 hour rehearsals at the Texas Amphitheatre. Outdoors. In four-hundred-twelve degree weather.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that hot. But trust me, it was hot.

It’s been a lot of work, but it’s also been a load of fun. I mean, we’ve learned things about what went on in Biblical times that we never knew. We’ve witnessed miracles and seen lives changed. We’ve watched crippled people walk, blind people see, and one day at rehearsal, Lazarus was brought back from the dead. Three times. Now that’s powerful stuff.

And who would have known that Jesus wears athletic shoes, glasses, and a backwards ball cap? I didn’t, that’s for sure.

The live animals have been really cool, too. For the most part, anyway. The camel is kind of scary. And the sheep are cute, but they really do need to learn to clean up after themselves. I have to follow them onstage, and it’s not always a pleasant experience, if you know what I mean.

“The Promise” is an incredible accumulation of theatrical and musical talent, technical skill, and artistic flair. The set designs are amazing, the props and special effects are unbelievable, and the costumes are out of this world.

As a matter of fact, my costume needed some adjustment, and I watched in awe as the skilled seamstress made the necessary changes. She measured, pinned, and tucked, and soon her machine was humming a busy tune. In no time at all, the costume was perfectly hemmed and pressed.

Sewing Hands

Wearing the long tunic, overcoat, and headpiece of that day has made me curious about people of that time period. How did they do it? How in the world did women do laundry without getting soaked? How did they cook without catching their trailing headgear on fire?

And most importantly, how did those ladies survive without bright pink toenail polish?

These are questions I plan to have answered when I get to heaven.

I do know one interesting thing, though, about the way they dressed back then. Whenever a person had a valuable item, they often sewed it into the hem of their garment, so they wouldn’t lose it. I appreciate this bit of trivia even more after watching our seamstress with her whirling machine. That hem is strong and tight, and it was done with modern technology. I can just imagine the huge amount of time and back-breaking skill it must have taken for a seamstress in biblical times to slowly, stitch by tiny stitch, sew the yards of hem by hand. And if she was hiding a gold coin in that hem, I’m sure she took even more time making sure the hem was strong and secure.

God knew the time and care such a hem required. He even used that as an example of His care for us. In Psalms, He tells us that He hems us in.

In other words, we are important to Him. He highly values each one of us. And He will do whatever it takes to make sure we are safe and cared for.

I love that picture. Sometimes, when I’m feeling scared or lonely or stressed out, I close my eyes and picture myself being wrapped in His love, like that gold coin was wrapped in the fabric of the tunic. Then, I picture God painstakingly sewing me into His care, stitch by tiny stitch, assuring that I won’t be lost from His presence. And then I remember. I am special to Him. He really, really loves me. And He will always take care of me.

“You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me,” Psalm 139:5.

6 Responses to Hemmed In

  1. September 11, 2010 #

    Great post, Renae! Are you REALLY going to ask God the pink toenail polish question? 😉


  2. September 11, 2010 #

    Hi Renae! I’ve missed you! Thanks for sharing the insight on God hemming us in — what a neat thought and great illustration you provided for it.

    Sounds like the play was an amazing (and hot! and busy!) experience for your family. We had a busy summer, too, with Kelli’s wedding and Don’s mom being in the hospital three different times. Right now I have a post up on my blog about mothers of the bride that you might get a kick out of if you get a chance to stop by. Blessings to you, my friend!

  3. September 11, 2010 #

    Jean – I absolutely plan to ask God the pink toenail polish question. It’s just about done me in to have to go without it on weekends . . . 😉

    Cheryl – I’ll pop right over. The play is every Fri. and Sat. night in Sept. and Oct., so we have a ways to go yet. 🙂

    Love you both!

  4. September 12, 2010 #

    I am so glad you posted this on facebook. I knew it was time consuming and a labor of love, but I sure didn’t realize how long the rehearsals actually were and of course the Texas heat!!!

    Y’all are amazing! I had no idea what a great production this was until I saw the pictures online. What an experience for your family!

    We are planning to come see it with Malcolm and DeLain. Can’t wait!


  5. September 13, 2010 #

    I can’t wait to see y’all, Linda!

  6. July 21, 2011 #

    Thanks for sharing. It’s been about a decade since I made that trip to Glenrose every Saturday. I sure do miss the time and friends I made.

    Thanks again,

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